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 Discoveries by the telescopes on Mauna Kea
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TomK
Punatic

USA
7263 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2016 :  22:12:28  Show Profile  Visit TomK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
First clouds discovered on an object outside our solar system:

Gemini press release: http://gemini.edu/node/12536

Daily Mail article: http://goo.gl/pPEcnc

The discovery was made using the Gemini North Telescope on Mauna Kea. As someone very familiar with doing spectroscopy in the 4.5 to 5 micron region, I can't start explaining how difficult these observations were. You're dealing with our sky which is typically much brighter than the object you're observing, and any small change in the amount of water above the telescope creates noise that can be very hard to remove.

Edited by - TomK on 07/12/2016 21:05:55

PaulW
Punatic

4914 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2016 :  02:15:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Any water clouds on the other planets or moons in our system?
Amazing stuff. Could signs of life be detected in the same way, e.g. if someune used the same method to look at us?
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TomK
Punatic

USA
7263 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2016 :  19:16:47  Show Profile  Visit TomK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Water vapor has been detected in the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune. As for detecting life, yes an alien astronomer with the technology could detect water vapor and water ices (such as cirrus clouds) on earth. However, you would need a bit more than that to say life existed. What you would be able to deduce using the observations along with other information (e.g., earth's mass, density and temperature) is that earth is a suitable place for life.
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alaskyn66
Punatic

1299 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2016 :  20:14:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What are they going to be able to find with this new radio telescope in China.. now the largest in the world.

..And the people bowed and prayed... to the neon God they made...
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TomK
Punatic

USA
7263 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2016 :  21:05:20  Show Profile  Visit TomK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Alaskyn - its main uses will be for mapping molecular hydrogen, detecting distant neutron stars, detecting complex molecules in space and for some of the time it may be used to search for radio signals from alien civilizations. It'll do a variety of other things as well, but mostly it'll be used for mapping and detecting molecules. Because it's so large, it'll be more sensitive than other radio telescopes, so will be able to observe objects fainter and farther away than those other dishes.
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TomK
Punatic

USA
7263 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2016 :  22:05:14  Show Profile  Visit TomK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
"The Australian radio telescope operating in tandem with the Arecibo radio telescope are seeing through this blocked view now, seeing stars and galaxies not visible to optical telescopes, with radio telescopes."

Will this require the use of radio telescopes by any chance?
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TomK
Punatic

USA
7263 Posts

Posted - 07/12/2016 :  21:16:44  Show Profile  Visit TomK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
All,

Thought I'd change the subject of this thread for a couple of reasons:

1) It's now a general thread which can be used to post about astronomical discoveries made by the observatories in Hawaii, rather than several mini-threads;

2) To try and limit things to discoveries made here and not elsewhere.

The latter is a little more difficult because astronomy is an international collaboration, but hoping it things will be mainly about Hawaii-based discoveries.

As an example, a new dwarf planet has been discovered by the Canada France Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) on Mauna Kea that's far beyond the orbit of Pluto:

http://goo.gl/p2Iy9Z
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Eric1600
Kamaaina

USA
731 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2016 :  07:36:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
FYI alohapueo has been aggregating Hawaii specific science news too here

http://alohapueo.org/category/news/
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TomK
Punatic

USA
7263 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2016 :  22:02:29  Show Profile  Visit TomK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thank you, Eric1600, I wasn't aware of that site.

Just thinking of the number of peer-reviewed science papers published each year from observations made at the Mauna Kea observatories, there are something like three to five new discoveries made every night. Most will never make it into the mainstream media as they aren't the kind of discoveries that attract public attention. However, they are all new results that ultimately lead to greater discoveries and a better understanding of our universe and what we are a part of.

This is something I feel people in Hawaii should be proud of. I'm only guessing, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if you found that the Big Island has the greatest number of scientific discoveries per resident in the world.
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Eric1600
Kamaaina

USA
731 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2016 :  07:07:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've noticed most papers are a little obscure about specific locations because they talk about data sets or facilities. You can poke around and find thousands though that mention mauna kea or facilities that are there.

The one-stop location to find papers (or at least the abstracts) in major astronomy publications:
http://www.adsabs.harvard.edu/

Full papers too:
http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph

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leilanidude
Punatic

USA
3159 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2016 :  16:09:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is something I feel people in Hawaii should be proud of. I'm only guessing, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if you found that the Big Island has the greatest number of scientific discoveries per resident in the world.

-----

TomK - That is amazing to say the least - and very cool!
I hope the work up there can continue.
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HereOnThePrimalEdge
Punatic

South Sandwich Islands
6387 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2016 :  16:30:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Robot space telescopes will make ground based optical telescopes obsolete in less than 40 years.

I've entered July 15, 2056 into my scheduler, and will update everyone on the accuracy of this post at that time. From the passenger seat of my Tesla self-flying car.

“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”
-Joseph Brodsky
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TomK
Punatic

USA
7263 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2016 :  23:45:06  Show Profile  Visit TomK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Eric1600 - in addition, most if not all the observatories on Mauna Kea (and telescopes around the planet) post lists of publications using data obtained by them. Sometimes it takes a little digging around.

Anyway, as an example, UKIRT'S publication lists can be found here:

http://www.ukirt.hawaii.edu/reference/pub.html

Note that these lists are for peer-reviewed papers only. The ADS site you mentioned also includes non-peer reviewed papers, such as those published in conference proceedings, but you can use the filters to list only refereed papers and it has a variety of other filter options as well.

Not sure what Pahoated's latest fantasy has to do with discoveries made by Mauna Kea telescopes, but he keeps changing the date ground-based telescopes will become obsolete, so who knows what the next prediction will be?
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TomK
Punatic

USA
7263 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2016 :  20:36:41  Show Profile  Visit TomK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
More than a hundred new exoplanets have been discovered with a combination of Kepler observations and data from four Mauna Kea telescopes; the twin Kecks, Gemini North and the IRTF. A few of the planets are earth-like.

http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/press-releases/k2_100planets/
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HereOnThePrimalEdge
Punatic

South Sandwich Islands
6387 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2016 :  20:38:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In a joint study that involves Keck Observatory, both Gemini Observatories, and the Kepler satellite, over 100 planets have been discovered, including 4 potentially similar to earth:

http://phys.org/news/2016-07-kepler-planets-trove.html

"Our analysis shows that by the end of the K2 mission, we expect to double or triple the number of relatively small planets orbiting nearby, bright stars,"

“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”
-Joseph Brodsky
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TomK
Punatic

USA
7263 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2016 :  20:41:11  Show Profile  Visit TomK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Beat you to it by two minutes!
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